Christchurch:When it comes to batting for life, Sachin Tendulkar is the choice for most of the Kiwi cricketers, who rate the Indian batting maestro as the most accomplished player of his generation.
New Zealand's 'Herald on Sunday' newspaper asked a few former cricketers who was the best batsman in the world and whom they would like to bat for their life?
Replying to the questions, former Kiwi Test players John Morrison and Dipak Patel picked the Indian batting ace and were all admiration for his exploits all around the world in different conditions and various match situations.
"I'd go with Tendulkar. He is still the most capable batsman in the world. He has the full array of shots too, though he might not play them as freely as he once did," Morrison said.
"I like Tendulkar because there are guys out there brilliant on certain types of surfaces but he is adept at playing on anything. Slow, bouncy, turning, whatever -- he covers the field on all of them.
"I'd still back him ahead of everybody, even at the age of 36," Morrison, who played 17 Tests between 1974 and 1982, said.
Dipak Patel echoed the same sentiment.
"I like Gautam Gambhir and Graeme Smith at the moment but in the end, if they were batting for my life, I couldn't go past Tendulkar. He's got the experience, the sheer weight of runs and best all-round game.
"He can bat for survival and can bat to force wins. He's got a big-match temperament and he has scored runs all around the world," Patel, who played 37 Tests between 1987 and 1997, said.
"Gambhir is the new kid on the block but I would put Smith in just behind Tendulkar. He has a wonderful track record of getting through the new ball. Every game he is out there facing the music and is just a terrific competitor," he added.
Tendulkar's teammate and another Indian great, Rahul Dravid also has his own admirers for his sound technique, one among them is former Test player Gavin Larsen.
"There'd be a few on my shortlist. Shiv Chanderpaul would make it, Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey. Graeme Smith would be there, as would Mohammad Yousuf and Sachin Tendulkar but the name I keep coming back to is Rahul Dravid," Larsen said.
"He (Dravid) is technically correct, perhaps the best technician in the game, he has scored runs in all conditions, he's dogged and he's incredibly mentally strong. He can bat for long periods of time without scoring and it never seems to get him down."
Dravid was also the second choice for Craig McMillan whose first pick is Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara. "I'd struggle to go past guys like Rahul Dravid and Kumar Sangakkara. In the end, I'd take Sangakkara. With Dravid, you know what you're going to get but Sangakkara is probably the most adaptable batsman playing cricket at the moment."